Surrounded by friends and family, he officially became an Eagle Scout, a rank only 3 percent of Boy Scouts achieve. He was among eight Eagle Scouts in Troop 26 who were recognized in a ceremony.
“I’m feeling very honored,” he said. “My troop is a very special troop because we have such a high rate of everyone becoming Eagle.”
Though Troop 26, based in north Brooklyn, is considered a smaller troop, Downey-Lugo said everyone is serious about scouting. For example, a 12-year-old scout already has double the amount of merit badges that typical Eagle Scouts earn.
“The kids we have right now are very motivated, and it’s great to see that because they are the future of this troop,” he said. “I can see the troop will thrive in the future.”
Downey-Lugo’s journey in the Boy Scouts became more serious three years ago. He learned not only about important skills, but also the importance of teamwork.
“As cliche as it may sound, with scouting the way you work with each other is amazing,” he said. “Everyone has a little bit to do, everyone has what they have to say, and everyone has a part in it. We work together as a unit.
“It’s a mixture of everything,” he added. “That’s why we have the merit badge system, because you learn so many different skills that you can use in your everyday life.”
A graduate of Regis High School, Downey-Lugo is now a freshman at NYU Tandon School of Engineering in Downtown Brooklyn. He’s studying computer science to eventually become a programmer, but is also interested in engineering and math.
“The environment there is just perfect for me,” he said. “It’s a really good school and I’m enjoying it so far.”